Now that the Cardinals have acquired quarterback Carson Palmer for the NFL’s equivalent of the bowl of soup that comes with an ugly hat, it’s time to look at what the Cardinals have gotten.
Actually, a pretty good quarterback.
As team spokesman Mark Dalton has pointed out on Twitter, Palmer was one of eight quarterbacks last year to throw for more than 4,000 yards, 20 or more touchdown passes, a completion percentage of 65 or more, and a passer rating of 85.0 or higher.
The other seven? Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, and Matt Schaub.
Of course, if the Raiders felt that strongly about Palmer’s abilities for 2013, they would have been happy to pay him $13 million this year. They weren’t. Instead of cutting him, they’ll possibly get a seventh-round pick in 2014 after blowing a first-round pick in 2012 and a second-round pick in 2013 on a guy who, stats notwithstanding, led the team to a 4-12 record.
Like Alex Smith said last year, plenty of passing yardage comes when a bad team is playing from behind.
And so Palmer jumps from one bad team to another. It’s not clear how much better the Cardinals will be with Palmer, but the division has gotten dramatically better in recent years. Which means it’s likely that Palmer’s 10-year streak of not winning in the postseason will continue.
And that’s the one key stat that distinguishes Palmer from the seven quarterbacks listed above. Each has won at lease one career playoff game.
Palmer has none.